IOC holds second video call with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, says using 'quiet diplomacy'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 02, 2021, 03:47 PM(IST)

This file photo taken on January 21, 2020 shows China's Peng Shuai hitting a return against Japan's Nao Hibino during a match of the Australian Open. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) informed that they have already agreed on a personal meeting with the former doubles world number one Peng Shuai in January

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Thursday (December 2) that it had held a second video conference call with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. The announcement came after the women's tennis governing body (WTA) suspended all tournaments in Beijing over concerns related to the safety and well-being of the tennis star. 

IOC stated that they have offered Shuai wide-ranging support and will also stay in regular touch with her. IOC media further informed that they have already agreed on a personal meeting with the former doubles world number one in January.

In a statement issued by IOC on the official social media handle, they informed that Shuai's safety was "reconfirmed" in the second video call. "Our human and person-centred approach means that we continue to be concerned about her personal situation and will continue to support her," the statement read. 

ALSO READ | Peng Shuai row: China hits back at WTA for 'politicising sport' after it suspends all tournaments in country

"There are different ways to achieve her well-being and safety. We have taken a very human and person-centred approach to her situation," IOC stated, adding that the committee is addressing these concerns directly with Chinese sports organisations. 

"We are using “quiet diplomacy” which, given the circumstances and based on the experience of governments and other organisations, is indicated to be the most promising way to proceed effectively in such humanitarian matters," the statement added. 

Last month, Shuai remained in the headlines globally when she went 'missing' after she alleged that a powerful Chinese politician sexually assaulted her. In a social media post, Shuai accused a former Chinese vice premier of forcing her into sex several years ago, she also said that he coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship. 

ALSO READ | Peng Shuai sexual assault row: WTA announces immediate suspension of all tournaments in China

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Shuai's case became a matter of global concern when top tennis stars such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic, etc questioned her well-being and whereabouts. However, IOC had intervened and held a video call with the player on November 21 to assure the world that Peng Shuai is safe. 

 

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